‘Surprising and a little gross’: Rats of New York taking over, ruining cars

NEW YORK (PIX11) — Rats are not only running the streets of New York City but ruining the wiring in people’s cars.

The problem of rodents nesting under hoods first made headlines during COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, but it is continuing even now as people move their cars regularly.

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PIX11 News’ Eileen Lehpamer took a look at this growing problem after experiencing it first-hand a few months ago. The wires under the hood of her 2022 Jeep Wrangler were gnawed at one night while it sat parked on the Upper East Side. It caused the check engine light to come on, and the start-stop function in the car to malfunction. It cost nearly $600 to repair and the mechanic told her that rats were to blame.

PIX11 News spoke with several mechanics who say this is a common problem, especially in the winter months when rats are looking for warm places to nest.

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David Goldsmith, the owner of Urban Classics Auto Repair in Bedford-Stuyvesant estimates that in the colder months, 30 to 40% of all cars brought in to his shop have some kind of rodent damage.

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